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JCU’s new, innovative buildings – The Science Place and AITHM, Townsville - have been recognised as the best of their type by the Master Builders North Queensland.

The $80 million Science Place, a state-of-the-art educational science building constructed by Lendlease and opened earlier this year, was judged Project of the Year.

The five level, 12,000 square metre building also won the ‘Educational Facilities over $10m’ category. Judge John Galloway called it “…the pinnacle of cutting-edge campus design.”

Professor Marcus Lane, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at JCU, said the award was an important recognition for the builders and architects.

“But also for those members of the JCU community who conceived the project, successfully sought resources for its construction, and oversaw the detailed design. And now the best part - they get to use this magnificent facility to create new scientific knowledge and make it available to north Queenslanders," he said.

JCU’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) building on the Townsville campus also won the ‘Health Facility over $20m’ category.

The $31 million world-class infectious diseases research facility was built by Watpac Construction and officially opened last year.

AITHM Director, Professor Louis Schofield said the building provides laboratories and office spaces for research programs in tropical health and medicine for Australia and the region, specifically building important biosecurity capacity for northern Australia.

“The PC3 laboratory enables AITHM to make a significant contribution to Queensland’s competitive advantage. It is the only one of its kind between Brisbane and Singapore, allowing for world-leading research to be undertaken locally.

“With the inclusion of the PC2 laboratories and the Translational Research facility, this building enables AITHM to complete the full research spectrum from bench to bedside including research training, and the transfer and commercialisation of research findings into better health care delivery,” said Professor Schofield.

To top it all off, Verandah Walk, the all-weather covered pathway built by RCQ Construction that links buildings at JCU’s Townsville campus won the ‘Tourism and Leisure Facilities up to $10M’ category.

Tricia Brand, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Division of Services and Resources at JCU, said the new buildings demonstrate the university’s commitment to provide state of the art infrastructure for students, staff and north Queensland communities.

“These facilities create learning and social spaces which enhance the student experience and enable our staff to undertake cutting edge research,” she said.

Background: Comments from judge John Galloway.

Science Place

Externally the building has been wrapped in a series of interconnected sunshade elements which dapple the sunlight whilst providing protection from the harsh tropical sun. Internally the building has a welcoming openness about it with the use of natural materials like polished concrete, timber and a colour palette to match, with natural sunlight enhancing the entry foyer and communal spaces. This is a building to be enjoyed by its occupants.

Whilst the offices have open planning and transparency, these spaces still provide privacy to engage in quiet study. This building represents the pinnacle of cutting edge campus design and reflects the maturity of JCU's approach in delivering this latest addition to their portfolio.

AITHM

A complex design with highly technical and world class building services which control the management of the internal environment including a labyrinth of NATA approved laboratories. The contractor has displayed a high level of workmanship with a quite difficult build utilising their skills in presenting a campus building that exceeds expectations. Again, the use of natural materials and sunshading effects has been maximised to advantage in contributing to a sustainable building that results in a striking external appearance that recognises good design and respect to the tropical environment.

Verandah Walk

This element has been something that has been missing from JCU since inception and has been executed with superior design and detail. The connectivity this all-weather covered walkway has provided cannot be overstated. The study nodes, fish ponds, Wi-Fi provision and thoughtful seating all contribute to a deep understanding of university life in the tropics, and will for decades to come be acknowledged as the critical spine that ties the various major buildings together. It’s extremely well presented with careful attention to detail, and can only mean stage 2 of this walkway will further enhance this practical addition to campus life.


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